There comes a time when it’s time to put aside the shopping, decorating, cooking and wrapping – and get out of the house.
Now the National Trust has put together a list of great places to visit over Christmas.
Enter a world where stories and fairytales come to life, discover magnificent properties in their Yuletide finery, meet Father Christmas, take in the fresh air and scenery on a winter walk, or snuggle up with a hot drink and tasty treat in a cosy café.
Spend quality time together at Beningbrough Hall, Gallery and Gardens near York – experience the grandeur of the hall and its intricate architecture, discover the ‘Inspired by Italy’ exhibition in the galleries, stretch your legs around the garden on a family walk, and more. Beningbrough is open on Fridays as well as weekends, plus Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Mrs Claus will be visiting East Riddlesden Hall, near Keighley this Christmas to tell a festive tale (weekends plus 18, 19, 20 December). Visit the ‘Letter to Santa station’ in the Maids’ Chamber and write down your Christmas wishes for Mrs Claus to take home to the North Pole.
This Christmas, experience Fountains Abbey as you never have before. Sing along to your favourite carols with live music in the cellarium between 2-3pm and, as twilight falls, wander round the ruins, which will be aglow with bright, colourful lights (weekends until 31 December). Join a free guided tour of the abbey and water garden, and don’t miss the shop at the visitor centre, where you might just find the perfect gift for a loved one – and would a National Trust Christmas be complete without a hot drink and piece of cake?
Nostell’s, near Wakefield, house has a fairytale theme this Christmas, while the garden theme is fairies and folkore. Visit Beauty and the Beast in the dining room for a tale as old as time, see if Rapunzel has escaped from her tower, call in to see Jack and the Beanstalk, which you’ll see going up the staircase, and other beloved fairytale characters. Head out into the garden for Nostell’s Christmas fairy trail and spot ethereal nymph sculptures.
Come and visit Father Christmas, who will be in the house during December (except on 4 and 5 and 11 and 12 December – his last day will be the 23rd). Just drop in – there’s no need to book. You’ll find him on the ground floor, next to the open fire as he relaxes before the big day. Have a chat with him and listen to his enchanting anecdotes and stories.
Nunnington Hall is the host of Christmases past, with a yuletide season that takes you on a journey through the ages, immersing you in the rich tapestry of festive traditions. Step into the opulence of the Georgian era, the splendour of the Victorian golden age, see a Tudor feast fit for a king, or relive the exuberant 1980s parties. It’s open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 24 November to 17 December, 10:30am–4pm.
Not three wise men – just one! Celebrate Frank Green’s travels in Gifts from Afar (13 November–17 December) at Treasurer’s House, York, inspired by the far-flung, and at times far-fetched, stories found in his travel journals. Wander at your own pace, and make memories as you explore and soak up this unique Christmas experience. Inside the period rooms, find 1920s design mingling with modern touches to create a timeless Christmas.
For more information on activities talking place in Yorkshire this Christmas, visit the National Trust website.